In the last issue of Tech News Greg Hawthorne asked, “Is it allowable to move a control during the event?” (See the last edition of Tech News distributed on May 6)

Greg outlined how the IOF and OA rules govern our events and what organisers can do. But what of the competitors? If you run a course and there is a misplaced control or another infringement of the competition rules, what can you do? 

If the infringement (misplaced control) has impacted competitors, then one, or more, of the competitors can put in a complaint to the organisers. In most instances the organising team will follow up and in the case of a misplaced control, check the control in question and if the control has been incorrectly placed, they will void the course/s affected by that control. Sometimes, there may be a reluctance to void courses.

There is a clear policy in the OA rules for complaints and protests but our practice in Tasmania demonstrates a reluctance to apply these rules. The applicable OA rules are rules 27 -30 and appendix 10. 

Simply put the process is:

  • If a competitor feels that there is cause for a complaint, they should direct it to the event organisers (preferably in writing) asap.
  • The organisers (in Tasmania, this will be the course planner and controller) then will make a decision, based on the rules, and reply to the complainant.
  • If the complainant is happy with the response, no further action is needed.
  • If the complainant is not happy with the response they can put a protest, in writing, to the event organisers. 
  • The event controller should then assemble a jury to rules on the protest.
  • The complainant is given the decision and all competitors informed of the outcome.
  • The jury’s decision is final.

A time limit is usually advertised so that competitors know by which time they can lodge a complaint. Usually this is 15 minutes after the results are posted. This is difficult to apply in Tasmania as a final copy of the results is not available until several hours after the event. 

It may be difficult to assemble a jury on the day but who can be on the jury?

A minimum requirement for jury membership is Level 2 Orienteering Australia Event Controller Accreditation. In Tasmania we have a number of Level 2 and Level 3 accredited controllers who could be part of a jury. It would be good practice for event organisers to familiarise themselves with those that are accredited. A current list of L2 and L3 controllers is below.

Level 2
 Jo-Anne Bissett  Pathfinders
 Hilary Cane  Australopers
 Peter Cusick  Australopers
 Jan Hardy  Australopers
 Christine Marshall  Australopers
 David Marshall  Australopers

 

Level 3
 Christine Brown  Esk Valley
 Bert Elson  Australopers
 Roger Harlow  Esk Valley
 Clare Hawthorne  Australopers
 Greg Hawthorne  Australopers
 Cathy McComb  Australopers
 Paul Pacque  Esk Valley
 Lindsay Pender  Australopers
 Bernard Walker  Australopers

If as an event organiser you find yourself in a situation where an infringement has occurred, chatting to any of the above listed controllers may help resolve the situation.